The Ravens will be on the clock with the No. 17 pick in the draft next Thursday night. Or will they?
NFL Network draft guru Matt Mayock isn't betting on it.
In a conference call with the media on Thursday, Mayock said he expects a run on most of the players highly coveted by the Ravens, and if that happens, he won't be at all surprised to see the Ravens trade down.
"They rarely stay at their number," Mayock said. "So they are at 17 this year, whether they move up or back, there's a pretty good possibility of that happening."
Last year the Ravens did hold their pick and took Matt Elam at No. 32 overall. But in four of the previous five drafts before that, the Ravens made a first-round trade, moving down twice, and moving up twice (or, in the case of 2008, moving down, and then back up, both in the same draft). In 2010 and 2012, the Ravens traded out of the first round and picked up additional picks in return. In 2009, the Ravens traded up three spots to grab tackle Michael Oher.
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The Ravens are thought to be in the market for Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin, Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron and Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. But Mayock predicted all will be off the board by the 17th pick.
Mayock said he expects Martin to be off the board somewhere from the ninth and 13th pick. He is very bullish on the Notre Dame lineman, calling him the only player in the draft with the ability to play any of the five offensive line positions in the NFL. Lewan? Gone as well, according to Mayock, who said he expects the "tackle board is going to be decimated," by the 17th pick.
If Clinton-Dix is gone, the Ravens could turn to Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. But Mayock doesn't see Pryor as the ideal complement to Matt Elam at the back end of the Ravens secondary.
More likely, Mayock said, the Ravens would turn to the next tier at offensive tackle or receiver, naming Cyrus Kouandjio from Alabama, wide receiver Brandin Cooks from Oregon State as well as linebacker C.J. Moseley from Alabama if they keep the No. 17 pick.
But sounds like Mayock isn't betting on it.
"If they stay, they're the kind of names you are gonna hear," Mayock said, "but more often than not, they move down."